LOUISDALE: A local woman who worked for Elections Canada is wondering how long she has to wait to get paid.
“It’s long hours and you have a lot of responsibility on your hands because if the counts aren’t right or there’s some paperwork not done correctly, it could cost someone the election,” said Lisa Skinner, who was still waiting for a direct deposit to increase her bank account on December 18.
Skinner worked at an advance poll in Louisdale as the District Returning Officer in October’s federal election. She’s been waiting for her pay for nine weeks.
She said there’s been a great deal of “he said, she said” between the returning officer for Port Hawkesbury and the Returning Officer for Cape Breton-Canso, Norm Carmichael. Skinner says there was a mix-up on some front that resulted in her hours not being submitted for payment.
Skinner said she was speaking to Elections Canada on the same day she spoke with The Reporter, and her hours are now filed. However, she said she might be waiting until the New Year for pay.
“I’m pretty sure the Prime Minister of Canada’s pay isn’t 10 weeks late,” Skinner said.
Skinner is a regular fixture at returning offices, as she’s worked seven elections in the past. She’s done municipal and provincial elections, as well as federal.
“I’m a stay-at-home mom, have four children and two of them have special needs, but I like getting out to do the elections – it allows me to get out and do something for my community,” she said. “But this is putting a bad taste in my mouth.”
Skinner was told that she’s not the only person who didn’t yet receive her pay.
“I know there are a lot people that Elections Canada has to pay, but eight weeks?”
Just after talking to Skinner, The Reporter reached out to Carmichael to get his impression of how the matter was proceeding. He said Skinner’s paperwork “went in on the fifteenth.”
Carmichael said he doesn’t like knowing that some people are playing the waiting game.
“It’s Christmas, and people could use the money,” he said. “I feel bad for them.”